|Slicker by Mary Whyte, watercolor painting, 18 1/2 x 18.
I went through a phase when I thought I could control
everything--where my career was headed, how my relationships were going to turn
out, and what kind of life I was going to have. Ah, I crack myself up. What was
I thinking? I now realize that control is a bit of an illusion, and the best
you can do is meet what appears on your path head-on.
That goes especially for being open to inspiration for
artwork. I used to keep a stranglehold on what I was going to paint or draw.
Mapping everything out so nice and neatly, and meanwhile I was missing great
opportunities or not knowing what to do with them when they popped up because
I'd been working, essentially, with blinders on.
||Spring Ironing by Mary Whyte, watercolor painting, 24 3/4 x 19.
Something Mary Whyte said in her new DVD, Watercolor Portraits of the South
brought all this up for me again. The artist was discussing how she assumed,
when she moved from Philadelphia to South Carolina, and that she would paint
landscapes and seascapes near her new home. But for the past 20 years Mary has
embarked on a journey of "watercolor journalism," painting her local community and
the people and places around her; documenting moments in time before they slip
And looking at Mary's work makes it obvious why letting
inspiration lead the way can be the best course of action for an artist. She
has created an amazing body of work that is unique and powerful, yet was
completely unanticipated by her. But she was open to what crossed her path and
used her considerable painting skill record a way of life and group of people
who have come to mean a lot to her.
Portraits of the South, Mary offers highlights of her
watercolor painting process, breaking down the steps that culminate in a finished
painting. But mixed in with the demonstration is one-on-one time with Mary, in
which she shares the stories behind so many of her paintings as well as discusses
how she made her way in the art world. She also answers questions from members
of our Artist Daily audience about her techniques and methods.
All in all, Watercolor
Portraits of the South is a two-hour package with a whole lot of Mary in
it! And in celebration of the release, Mary has included
a signed print of one of her paintings for the first 200 customers who buy the
DVD, so I recommend getting yours now to enjoy!